Shopping list

Scouting Combine edge rushers who could be on the Buffalo Bills’ shopping list

INDIANAPOLIS — Among the points that Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane made very clear in his meeting with the media on Tuesday is the fact that behavior that has included recent huge capital spending projects on defensive linemen won’t influence what he does this year; and the depth of overall player quality in this year’s draft is extraordinary, although there may be a shortage of elite players at the top.

His exact words?

“I was brought up and always thought that while I was studying teams you had to be good up front, on both sides of the ball,” he said. “And you have to have a quarterback. The next thing you have to do is bring down the other team’s quarterback. And so that’s a position every year, whether it’s, again, the ‘free agency, the draft, trades, I think you have to watch and be as strong as you can.

“I mean, we were pretty deep this year, but we’ve had some issues with COVID, and a few nicks here and there. So we’ve got guys who aren’t restricted [free agents]and we’ll see if we get any back.”

“… there is a lot of depth. I don’t know if there are the best guys [of] years past, especially maybe the quarterback position. But I think there is a lot of depth in this draft. And I think the mid-rounds, once you get out of round 1, you know, 2-3-4, maybe even 5, I think there will be good value.”

What does all this mean?

Well, if we’re reading the tea leaves correctly, just because the Bills used their first-round and second-round draft picks last year, a second-round pick the year before, and a first-round pick in 2019 on defensive linemen, Beane won’t necessarily hesitate to do the same this year, especially because the quality of rushers may be the best of any position in this year’s draft class.

But due to their 25th-place position in the first round, they may well trade those spots for other picks later on.

In that context, we present three pass rushers the Bills could look to add by trading down rather than up, which is the path Beane usually takes when he rolls and deals on draft day.

1. Kingsley Enagbare, South Carolina

Although his height is just under 6ft 4in, Enagbare looks and plays much longer. It’s because of his long arms, which he likes to use as leverage in his pass rush.

Enagbare told Bills Central on Friday that he will be “someone who will come in and be a leader. Someone who can play the defensive end and not just rush the passer but stop the run, give the advantage and make games, be a playmaker.”

We tend to believe it.

Enagbare can drop out of the board before the Bills are picked in the first round, but a more likely scenario would be if he’s still there early in the second, where the Bills could land trading down.

2. Myjai Sanders, Cincinnati

At 6-foot-4 and 242 pounds, Sanders is lean and tall with potential to add to his frame to better defend the run.

An excerpt from Bleacher Report’s scouting report on him:

“Myjai Sanders is a mercurial prospect thanks in part to the scheme he’s played in. At 6’5” and 255 pounds, his lean frame is best suited to be a traditional edge defenseman, but Cincinnati has often fielded him at 4-tech and 5-tech. Sanders gets the ball out exceptionally well, both with his hand on the ground and while standing up, and accelerates with his following steps to immediately gain the advantage.

“While he can’t dive low and bend very effectively, he has enough ankle juice and flexibility to execute a tight turn once in a while. Sanders also plays with fast hands, made even more efficient by his long arms and ability to blend in. his approach to attacking inside or out.Sanders’ contractions and light feet also allow him to miss linemen in a phone booth, which is practice against both the run and the pass.

Sanders could be a valuable pick where the Bills are in the second round (57 overall).

3. Sam Williams, Mississippi

By staying in school an extra year, the Williams would have significantly improved their draft stock.

Draft Network’s Drae Harris gave it a third-round rating and wrote the following about him.

“He’s a good athlete overall, especially going forward, but he can struggle with reactive moves as a rusher. He’s hit a major milestone in 2021 and enjoying the extra year has apparently doing wonders for his game In the running game he is heavy at the point of attack and can give the advantage He has improved in emotional stamina and chasing when games get away from him The passing game is where he thrives He has improved his start from 2020 to 2021 He is good at converting speed into power to win on the edge and is strong enough to beat double teams when he is in 4i or 5 technique. Although he has also improved when it comes to counters, he is still not the most loose- hipped athlete on the edge and it shows in these cases. I think he has the schematic versatility to line up in a 4-3 as DE or play OLB in a 3-4.

The Bills may not be taking any of those players back this year, but it’s almost a lock that they keep trying to bolster their defensive line in some way, with five veterans set to become newcomers. unrestricted free agents and Justin Zimmer set to become a restricted free agent. agent.

Nick Fierro is the publisher of Bills Central. Check out the latest Bills news at www.si.com/nfl/bills and follow Fierro on Twitter at @NickFierro. Email [email protected]